Gunshot, Domestic Disturbance Leads to Couple’s Arrest

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY (BCN)– A domestic disturbance incident in Aptos Thursday afternoon ended with two people being arrested and with their dog being taken into custody by Animal Services.

At 4:22 p.m., deputies responded to the incident, happening in the 400 block of Monterey Avenue. As they were on their way to location, deputies received a report that a gunshot had been heard coming from the home, according to sheriff’s officials.

When deputies arrived, they set a perimeter around the residence and initiated an automatic “shelter in place” notification to the surrounding neighborhood, sheriff’s officials said.

A sheriff’s negotiator was able to make contact with the couple, 45-year-old Doran Maxwell and 30-year-old Bianca Whitfield. The negotiator instructed Maxwell and Whitfield to exit the residence, according to sheriff’s officials.

Once the pair exited the house, deputies detained them.

After a preliminary investigation, deputies determined Maxwell and Whitfield were the only people inside the house and that no one was injured as a result of the shooting, sheriff’s officials said.

Inside the residence, deputies seized two handguns, sheriff’s officials said.

Deputies arrested Maxwell for unlawful discharge of a firearm. Deputies arrested Whitfield, who is on probation, for being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, violation of a domestic violence court order and a probation violation, according to sheriff’s officials.

Deputies learned the couple had been arguing because of an Animal Care and Control hearing that had happened earlier in the day regarding their dog. The hearing determined that the dog was to be surrendered to Animal Care and Control later this month, sheriff’s officials said.

While at the scene, deputies then notified Animal Care and Control agents, who arrived and took custody of the dog, sheriff’s officials said.

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